Visa and FireEye are set to co-develop tools and services to help retailers protect against cyber attacks targeting payment data.
The partnership will bring together threat information from both companies, allowing merchants and issuers to quickly detect and respond to attacks against their IT and payment infrastructure.
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Under the offering, FireEye will operate the Web-based service to enhance stakeholders' knowledge of attacks targeting the ecosystem, providing a significant improvement over current industry practices of sharing threat intelligence via e-mail or static documents. As strategic partners, FireEye and Visa initially plan to offer tools that will provide greater cyber intelligence and enhanced threat monitoring and will continue to work together, along with FireEye's cyber forensics group, Mandiant, to add more capabilities tailored to issuers and merchants of all sizes.
Many data compromises have similar attack patterns reinforcing the importance of collective knowledge sharing to help merchants prepare and monitor for known threats.
Enhanced monitoring of malicious attacks and suspicious payment activity will help in alerting merchants of potential compromises.
Identifying these data compromises earlier means fewer stolen accounts and greater protection for their customers.
FireEye chief executive, David Dewalt, said the threat environment for merchants was more hostile than ever.
"Attack groups focused exclusively on stealing consumer data are continuously expanding their operations and employing new techniques," he said.
"It's a daunting prospect for any merchant whose business could collapse if they lose customer trust.
"This new collaboration brings together two industry leaders to help protect merchants and payment data and minimise the impact of attacks by sharing information."
Visa chief executive, Charlie Scharf, said combining Visa's unparalleled view into global payments and FireEye's industry-leading cyber security expertise, the company intended to bring faster, actionable intelligence directly to players across the payments system.
"Although we are leading efforts to render stolen data useless through smart technologies, data security remains foundational for merchants," he said.
"We're pleased to be working closely with FireEye, which has been at the front lines identifying and investigating some of the most significant compromises around the world, to provide critical cyber intelligence to merchants and financial institutions."